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Two peers should be suspended over lobbying claims, sleaze watchdog says

TWO peers are facing suspension from the House of Lords after the upper chamber’s sleaze watchdog found them to have broken lobbying rules.

The Lords Conduct Committee has recommended months-long suspensions for the Earl of Shrewsbury and Labour’s Baroness Goudie, with peers due to vote on the recommendations next month.

The Earl of Shrewsbury, whose full name is Charles Henry John Benedict Crofton Chetwynd Chetwynd-Talbot, was found to have broken the Lords’ code of conduct “by providing parliamentary advice and services in return for payment”.

The investigation into the hereditary peer, who was affiliated with the Conservatives until October, arose out of work as a consultant for healthcare company SpectrumX.

He approached ministers including then-health secretary Matt Hancock to promote the firm’s SpectriPOD sanitisation tunnel in return for a £3,000 monthly retainer, a report found.

He received the fee for 19 months between 2020 and 2022, netting around £57,000 in total.

The report said that he was found in “clear breach” of the code of conduct by seeking “to profit from membership of the House”.

The Lords Conduct Committee said: “We recommend that the Earl of Shrewsbury be suspended from the service of the House for a period of nine months.”

Baroness Goudie was found to have breached the code “by agreeing to provide parliamentary advice in return for payment, and that she also breached the rules on the use of the House’s facilities,” the conduct committee said.

It relates to her work for eco-friendly cremations company ecoLegacy in 2016 and 2017.

“The committee agrees with the commissioner’s recommendation that Lady Goudie be suspended from the House for a period of six months,” the committee said.

“The House will be asked to agree the reports and sanctions early in January.”

While peers cannot debate the reports or sanctions, they can vote on whether or not to approve them.



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